Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks Game 5 Pick
Boston Celtics (54-36 SU, 43-45-2 ATS) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (67-23 SU, 54-32-4 ATS)
When: Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 – 8:00 PM ET
Where: Fiserv Forum – Milwaukee, WI
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BOS +9 / MIL -9 (Intertops)
Power Rankings: Milwaukee -10
Takeaways From Game Four
The end seems to be nigh for the Celtics as the Bucks cruised to win their third consecutive game in this series after falling in Game One. Closing as a one-point underdog, the Bucks defeated the Celtics on their own court by a score of 113-101. The Celtics led by as much as 11 points in Game Four but that did not stop Giannis Antetoukounmpo from going off for 39 points and 16 boards to place Milwaukee within one from an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.
How the Public is Betting Game Five
63% of the general public fancy the Celtics here with the allotment of points. As a result, we have seen the line fall by half of a point from the opening number of Milwaukee as a 9.5-point favorite.
The Historical / Betting Trends
Over the span of Milwaukee rattling off three consecutive wins against the Celtics in this series they have been kind to backers producing a matching 3-0 ATS record. For Over/Under takers, the Over is 16-7-1 ATS in the last 24 contests.
There are no notable injury concerns expressed by either team heading into Game Five.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams were last in action two days ago on Monday in Beantown. For Boston, they are staring elimination in its ghostly face as they will have to win out from a two-game deficit to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. The problem is the C’s will have to survive Game Five and return to Milwaukee for Game Seven should it make it that far. Should Boston stage an upset tonight, they will host Game Six on Friday.
Can Boston Find Success From Three-Point Range To Steal A Win?
In Game Four, where we took the L, the Bucks were ineffective from three-point range as they hit 21.6% of their attempts. While this number is a bit low for any team in terms of production it will not startle Milwaukee much as they finished the 15th-ranked team in the NBA in terms of three-point proficiency (35.3%). The problem was that Boston could not capitalize despite being one of the better shooting teams from beyond the arc as they hit 36.5% of their three-point field goals (7th in the NBA) on the year. Moreover, a chink in Milwaukee’s defensive armor is their three-point defense which finished 22nd in the NBA, allowing opponents to hit 36.1% of their attempts. Unfortunately, the C’s hit just 22% of their three-point shots in Game Four and failed to take advantage. Boston will have to hope that Milwaukee goes cold from downtown again in Game Five and produce a far better performance if they hope to live to fight another day.
Can The Bucks Throw Their Weight Around In The Paint To Eliminate Boston?
A key element to Milwaukee’s success in Game Four was their ability to wear Boston down in the interior game and outclass them in terms of points in the paint. In fact, Milwaukee generated 66 points in the paint compared to Boston who scored 44. This narrative in itself was instrumental in allowing the Bucks to gallop onto a double-digit victory. A cornerstone of Milwaukee’s approach is also found in the fact that the Bucks are the best team in the NBA in terms of total rebounds per game (49.7 boards per contest). Contrarily, Boston finished 22nd in the league in total rebounds per game (44.5 rpg). The Deer cashed in on this edge and were able to beat Boston on the glass by a margin of 56-51. The Bucks will look to hone their physical presence in Game Five to effectively close out the series.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Milwaukee -9
The fact that much of the betting public is trigger-happy on the underdog would imply that the Bucks may actually be undervalued here. Some other sportsbooks would suggest that is indeed the case here. Nevertheless, a long time ago Boston was the pre-season favorite to win the East so many may feel reluctant to believe that the Celtics would be subjected to a “Gentleman’s Sweep” in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. However, Milwaukee has outclassed Boston and the Celtics look spent. As a whole, the Bucks outscore visitors by an average of 12.2 points in Milwaukee. By virtue of this narrative combined with the prospect of the Bucks laying less points than they should, Milwaukee gets my money. It doesn’t stop there though. This Milwaukee team will be fired up looking to make a statement and emphatically vanquish the Boston goblin that broke their hearts in the 2018 Playoffs. The Bucks will put the pedal to the floor and never look back, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Deer won by a larger margin than they did when they hosted Game Two (21 points).